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Halal Korean Cuisine Made Delicious and Convenient

When I first came to Chicago over thirteen ago, the last type of cuisine I ever thought I would fall in love with is Korean, not for any other reason than the fact that I had no idea there was such a large population of Koreans living in and around the city. The first way I found out was by catching the Korean channel where I was able to watch all sorts of completely captivating Korean dramas with English subtitles. They were a fascinating glimpse into the culture and the cuisine of a place I knew very little about, but intrigued me to the point of seeking out Korean food whenever I could. I happened upon one of the largest Korean grocery stores in our area called Super H and fell in love with the produce, the freshly-made foods, the seafood, and of course learned how kimchi is made (they prepare it right in the store). I was instantly taken by the Asian flavors with the heat of chili and other spices that give Korean food that certain interesting mixture of flavor profiles that makes it so unique. Now I live further away and instead get much of my Korean food fix by watching Kimchi Chronicles and getting inspired to try all the dishes somehow.

Bimimbop with Beef on tray

Bibimbop with Beef

That brings me to the big surprise I was in store for when I learned that Saffron Road was adding to their line of globally inspired halal, healthy (many of which are non-GMO and Gluten Free), and convenient foods when they introduced four wonderful Korean dishes to their frozen entrées. I already loved the Italian, Indian and Moroccan dishes but this was something completely novel not just in the world of halal cuisine, but also in frozen entrées as a whole.  I honestly could not get enough of these entrées and I’ll tell you why below- and I cannot tell you which one was my favorite because I can’t decide!

Beef Bulgogi 

The fact that Saffron Road is now making frozen entrées with dhabiha halal beef is enough to make me swoon, as many of their previously introduced products are made with chicken or tofu- very good, but different. And oh, so good is this beef entree. The fire-grilled tender sirloin was so soft and tender, cut thinly but in substantial size pieces and plenty of it in the dish. It smelled so good after it had cooked, tasted buttery and was the least spicy of the four entrees I tried, in my opinion. It’s a good idea to mix the ingredients together on the plate to get the taste of all the veggies and brown rice mixed with the generous portion of meat here. 

Beef Bulgogi

Bibimbop with Beef 

Bibimbop (or “mixed-up rice,” as explained on the back of the Saffron Road box), was a dish I heard so much about in my amateur studies of Korean cuisine, although I never had a chance to try it because I couldn’t find a place that served it dhabiha halal and never really found a recipe I thought seemed authentic. Instead, this entrée served my curiosity well. The sauce is somewhat sweet, which I loved and overall the dish has a really nice and spicy kick to it. Again, just like the Beef Bulgogi, I thought the portions were very generous, so it was pretty filling and makes a nice size lunch dish, which is hard to come by with convenience foods.

Bibimbop with Beef 700
Bimimbop with Tofu

Since I didn’t mention it before, I should say that Bibimpob is a legendary “royal dish prepared for the nobles of the Shilla Kingdom”, as I learned from the back of the Saffron Road box (they even teach you a bit of history when you buy a product, which is nice!). No wonder I heard so much about it in the Korean dramas! 

This is another dish that has a sweet sauce called Gochujang. It has a spicy kick to it, too, but not at first- at least not in my case. I liked that it was crunchier than the other dishes (if and when you’re in the mood for that) and it seemed to have more veggies than the others, obviously because it’s a vegetarian dish. I love the brown rice in this and the other dishes. It really makes it taste wholesome and healthy that way. This particular dish is vegan and gluten free and the tofu is organic, too. 

Bimimbop with Tofu 700

Gochujang Chicken

Every time I hear the word “Gochujang” I think of Kimchi Chronicles host, Marja Vongerichten. She says the Korean word beautifully and often during the unique cooking show where she and her husband, renowned French Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten are often found cooking Korean (and Korean fusion food) in their home kitchen as well as traveling abroad in Korea to show the whole gamut of exotic (to us) Korean food, including the many ways this sweet and spicy Gochujang sauce is used, which comes from red chili peppers, a popular ingredient in Korean cooking.

This Saffron Road entrée comes with tender boneless chicken, brown rice and a lovely mix of Asian vegetables. I absolutely love the sauce and find it to be the key to my heard in this and the other entrées because I like food that has flavor and a kick and healthy ingredients and these seem to have all of the above.

To find out where you can get Saffron Road products near you, check out their store locator. Also, enter the giveaway (below) to try some products for FREE!

Gochujang Chicken with Brown Rice 700

 Now you can get a chance to try these lovely new Saffron Road entrées for FREE by entering to win coupons. The winner will also receive a Saffron Road apron for all those times when you are cooking.

U.S. residents only. Leave a comment to enter. Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

UPDATE: Winner of this giveaway is Rafia Awais. Please contact MHK as soon as possible with your mailing address and phone number. Thanks and congratulations!

Disclaimer: I received entrees to review, however, the opinions expressed are completely my own.

 

27 comments

  1. That’s food looks yummmm, but you must try Idonesia food, my country have amazing food.

  2. At home i just made korean kimbap which is pretty easy and filling. I would love to try some spicy korean.

  3. I would love to try cooking that too. Being in western country, it is somehow hard to find halal food. Cooking at home is the fav thing that you would do.

  4. Few weeks earlier I saw your post stating that you were about to try some halal Korean food. I was so excited to see your review for the products. I myself am a avid kdrama fan…loll. I always wanted to try Korean dishes but unfortunately I wasn’t able to because the restaurants do not serve halal food where I live. Now, I look forward to trying them! Thanks for the review!

  5. Aaaahhhhhh!!! I really I wanna try this!

  6. Would love to try some korean

  7. At he I make Pakistani and my kids love French cuisine .because was born there ..so I will live to try Korean food live spicy food … And learn too .to cook for my family

  8. Would love to try some of this! Always great to hear that the frozen food aisle is carryingn something I can feel confortable taking home to the family. Halal all day!

  9. All of these Korean dishes look delicious. I don’t even know which one I want to try first. I love the fresh colors of the Bimimbop with Tofu. I’m all for spicy and love that they use brown rice.

  10. Would love to try a different taste!!!! Have never had any Korean dish mostly because the restaurants are not halal.

  11. I am so excited. I haven’t been able to try Korean food, and now I have a chance.

  12. Thus looks amazing!! I am a huge fan if Chinese / Asian food ! Will at least try it out and I like to cook these recepies by myself since my family is not to found of it. Will try to make these one day :-)!

  13. My husband loves Korean food and always gets his fill from eating Korean food at non zabihah restaurants. I eat only zabihah and in our city, there is no halal Korean place so I never knew what Korean food tasted like and could never relate to him when he talked about Korean food. I’m excited to try Saffron Road’s Korean food because it’ll not only introduce me to Korean food but I’ll be able to understand my husbands cravings!

  14. Please share the recipes I would love to make Korean food.

  15. I would love to get a chance to try these!! I absolutely love Korean food and since I have switched to zabiha I haven’t been able to taste it anymore. I hope I can win some of these products!

  16. I LOVE Saffron Road! I eat not only halal but gluten-free and the fact that it’s possible for me to buy halal gluten-free convenience food that tastes amazing is something I’m really grateful for. I’ve been waiting impatiently for my local stores to pick up the Korean entrees because I’ve always wanted to try Korean food but had no zabiha option.

  17. I would love to win. I love Korean food. Thank you for the chance :)

  18. Assalaamalaikum
    Love ur blog. It provides a fresh perspective on halal food. I so want to try the Korean entree from saffron road. I have recently discovered they sell saffron road closeby and I am going to start experimenting. :)

  19. Sounds yummy! Big fan of Saffron Road!

  20. Hi
    I love your blog, you have been helping me a lot !
    I love spicy food and I would like to try Korean entrees From saffron road

  21. That looks so good. Im inspired for what Ill make for dinner now. :)

  22. I discovered this brand about a month ago and i am In love! Too often with halal food we are limited but with this brand we are able to try cuisines from different countries. It not only tastes good, it tatses homemade.

  23. I would really like to try these products. Everything looks so tasty!

  24. How lovely! Halal Korean food! Yum! Can’t wait to try!

  25. I tried lots of Korean foods when I was there for 3 months, most of the foods name I forget now but I like the Bibimbap.

  26. I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t a real recipe to go with this. As much as I love the Saffron Road concept. The amount of sodium they use to preserve the marinades is something I can’t get over. What do people think about that?

    • @Khadija, sorry to disappoint you- it was meant to show what’s available in the line of products by Saffron Road, which are all halal.

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